Help and advice on acceptable circumstances and evidence needed to support your claim.

What can I submit extenuating circumstances for and what evidence do I need to supply?

Extenuating circumstances (ECs) are circumstances which rarely occur and would normally be unforeseeable, unpreventable and would be expected to have a serious impact on your performance.

It is impossible to provide a complete list of circumstances, but below are examples which would commonly be regarded as extenuating circumstances. 

Each claim must be supported by evidence, you will be responsible for getting and submitting this evidence.

Circumstance
Evidence required
Comments
Illness

Either: 

  • An original medical certificate, or 
  • A letter from an appropriate medical professional, or
  • A letter from the University Counselling Service 

Any of which should confirm the nature of your illness and the likely impact it is having on your ability to prepare for and undertake your assessment.

Short-term illness (less than 7 days) will not generally be considered as an extenuating circumstance, as you are generally given several weeks/months to complete and submit your work.
Hospitalisation

A medical letter or certificate from the relevant hospital confirming the nature and severity of your circumstances and the likely period of impact of your studies. 


Family illness

A medical certificate or letter from an independent medical professional confirming the nature and severity of the family circumstances and the impact it is having on your ability to undertake your assessment.


Bereavement

Either: 

  • A death certificate, or
  • A letter from an independent professional (not a family member). This letter must contain their contact details and their view on the closeness of your relationship with the deceased. 
This is only applicable where there is a demonstrably close relationship between you and the deceased.
Pregnancy

If you become pregnant or your partner becomes pregnant, you may need to submit extenuating circumstances claims for appointments. You will need to provide an appointment letter or medical letter.

Helpful advice is in our Pregnancy & Maternity Policy.
Acute Personal/Emotional Circumstances

 

Either:

  • An original medical certificate, or
  • A letter from an appropriate medical professional, or
  • A letter from the University Counselling Service, external counsellor or statement from a support service.
All letters should confirm the nature of the illness and the likely impact it is having on your ability to undertake formal assessment and/or study.

If your circumstances are of a nature that you do not want the information to be seen by anyone, your university counsellor can write to the Chair of the Extenuation Panel on your behalf detailing their findings.

Victim of crime

A written statement of events supported by written evidence from the police, including a crime number. 

Where the impact of the crime has led to a medical issue, then a medical certificate or letter from an appropriate medical professional, or from the University Counselling Service, is required to confirm the impact the crime has had/is having on your studies.


Domestic disruption 
A letter from an appropriate, independent professional or authority detailing the relevant circumstances and indication of the likely impact on your studies. 

This only applies to examinations, unless the circumstances are exceptionally severe.

Disturbances caused by your housemates would generally be considered normal, not exceptional.
Representing the university at a national event

A letter of confirmation from the relevant organising body and a supporting statement from you explaining why the event should be considered as significant.


Jury Service

A letter from the Court and proof that a deferral has been requested and rejected.

If you are asked to undertake Jury Service, you must make a request to the Court for it to be deferred. It is only if this request is refused that your extenuating circumstances will be considered acceptable. 
Court attendance (UK)

If you are required to attend court as a witness, defendant or plaintiff, you need to provide either:

  • An official correspondence from the court confirming your attendant. or
  • A solicitor's letter detailing the nature and dates of the legal proceedings and your requirement to attend.

Circumstances which may not be considered

Again, it is impossible to provide a complete list, but below are examples which are unlikely to be acceptable extenuating circumstances. These are generally circumstances which could have been avoided or where arrangements could have been made to address the problem.

 

Circumstance

Transport issues

You are expected to ensure you arrive at your assessment or exam on time. You should always allow extra time to cater for moderate delays.

If you cannot travel as a result of circumstances beyond your control, you may have grounds to submit extenuating circumstances.

Holidays
It is your responsibility to ensure you are available and do not book any holidays during term time, exam or resit periods. All term dates can be found on the Academic Calendar.
Accommodation disturbances

It is your responsibility to make sure you have access to suitable accommodation during your academic year, exam and resit period. 

Disturbances caused by housemates would generally be considered normal and therefore not acceptable grounds.
Misreading the exam timetable

It is your responsibility to make sure you know, and remember, the location, time and duration of all of your exams.

Paid employment or voluntary work

You are expected to make sure that any work you undertake does not interfere with your engagement with your studies.

If you are a part-time student and an unexpected or exceptional work commitment does arise, this may be considered acceptable grounds. 
Exam stress
Feeling stressed and anxious leading up to and during an exam is common. It is not considered to be an acceptable extenuating circumstance unless a medical diagnosis of illness has been made.
IT and/or computer failure

If you lose your work or your files become corrupted, this is not an acceptable extenuating circumstance.

It is your responsibility to make sure all of your work is sufficiently backed up.

Scheduling of assessments 
Your deadlines, or exams being close together are unlikely to be considered an acceptable circumstance. If you have an exam clash, speak with your Faculty. 
Criminal conviction

If you are convicted of a criminal offence, any disruption caused by the investigation or sentence is not considered an acceptable extenuating circumstance.